Fact check: IRCC has not removed police certificate requirements for temporary residents

CIC News
Published: June 1, 2024

A number of news outlets have recently reported on changes to police certificates for temporary residents, with some outlets claiming that Canada has eliminated the police certificate requirement for temporary residents.

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However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has made no changes to its policy regarding police certificates, and people seeking entry to Canada as temporary residents should be aware of that they may be asked to provide one.

IRCC’s website states, “When you apply as a visitor, student or temporary worker, we may ask you for a certificate.”

On another page, IRCC writes,

“You might need a police certificate if you’re coming to Canada as a:

IRCC makes abundantly clear that while police certificates are not always necessary for temporary residents—unlike for applicants for permanent residence or citizenship—they may very well be required.

What is a police certificate?

A police certificate is an official document which states that the given person does not have a criminal record, or—if the person does have one—provides a copy of that criminal record.

Police certificates are issued by the regional police jurisdiction, and may be called a variety of names, such as “good conduct certificates” or “judicial record extracts.”

If the document is in a language other than English or French, it must be submitted along with a translation by a certified translator.

Why might police certificates be required?

Police certificates help officials to confirm that a person isn’t inadmissible to enter Canada due to criminality.

All persons seeking entry to Canada as temporary residents should be aware that they may be asked to provide a police certificate.

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